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California Adds Paper Trail to Electronic Voting

California's primary election Tuesday was the first serious test for a new kind of electronic voting machine. The devices produce a paper-trail record of every vote cast by touch-screen. The major shift in technology was prompted by concerns that the electronic voting machines the state had been using were vulnerable to fraud.

The reform of California's voting system led it to replace 40,000 paperless voting machines. While resembling the unit it replaced, the new machine has a printer on its side. A voter's choices are printed out, and if they see an anomaly, they can report it, or re-enter their vote.

While the first use of the printer-enabled voting machines reportedly went smoothly, critics of the machine say Tuesday's vote wasn't heavy enough to test the new technology. A key flaw, they said, is that the machine doesn't provide voters with a receipt of their ballot.

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Richard Gonzales
Richard Gonzales is NPR's National Desk Correspondent based in San Francisco. Along with covering the daily news of region, Gonzales' reporting has included medical marijuana, gay marriage, drive-by shootings, Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, the U.S. Ninth Circuit, the California State Supreme Court and any other legal, political, or social development occurring in Northern California relevant to the rest of the country.